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Witness: Killing of ex-PNP chief's grandson intentional

November 18, 2008 1:43am
MANILA, Philippines - A companion of the slain grandson of former Philippine National Police chief Director General Arturo Lomibao has said the killing was intentional.

The incident happened in a brawl outside a bar in front of a Buddhist temple in Brgy. Kaunlaran in Cubao, Quezon City, early Sunday morning.

Marlon Sanchez, a companion of slain Hector Allan Lomibao Sarmiento, told reporters that Police Officer 3 Melanio Donato - who responded to the bar scuffle - threatened to kill the former PNP chief's grandson as he poked a gun at him.

Donato of the Quezon City Police District - Araneta Station had earlier told investigators that he was alerted about a brawl and rushed to the scene with five village watchmen.

As Donato was about to handcuff Sarmiento, the latter allegedly grabbed the police officer's service firearm. This happened as Sanchez and Rodillas allegedly ganged up on Donato.

As Sarmiento and the police officer grappled for the gun, it reportedly "went off" hitting Sarmiento, Rodillas, and Sanchez.

The three were rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center for treatment, but Sarmiento was declared dead on arrival. Rodillas sustained a gunshot wound to his nape while Sanchez was hit on the left leg.

However, Sanchez said that contrary to Donato's account, the police officer was actually able to handcuff sarmiento and even pointed a gun to the slain victim's head.

"Imposible na pagtulungan namin sila eh tatlo lang daw sila at iyong pulis may kasamang limang tanod (We could not have attacked them. We were outnumbered. The police officer was with five village watchmen)," Mabanag quoted Sanchez as saying.

While admitting he threw punches to the police officer, Sanchez said he only did so because Donato and the watchmen were already mauling them.

"Habang nakaposas [si Sarmiento] sinasapak ng pulis at tanod (Our companion, while in handcuffs, was being beaten by the police officer and the watchmen)," Sanchez said.

Superintendent Franklin Moises Mabanag, chief of the QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit said that the former PNP chief had already contacted QCPD director Senior Superintendent to seek the latter's assurance that the case would be solved and that justice owuld be served where it is due.

"He [Lomibao] called up Director Gatdula and wanted to see to it that there's no whitewash and that the truth will come out," Mabanag said.

Meanwhile, Ivan Renwick Sarmiento said he and his other relatives, including the slain man's widow, had already met up with Lomibao Monday morning also to "discuss" the case.

Donato has been slapped with charges of a single count of homicide and two counts of frustrated homicide before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office.

Rodillas and Sanchez would be facing charges of direct assault, alarm and scandal, and obstruction of justice, as well as violation of Presidential Decree 1892 or Obstruction to the Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders. - Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV
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